All posts tagged: film photography

Review: Fujifilm Pro 400H

To see Fujifilm Pro 400H exposure tested alongside 10 other films, follow this link. I have wanted so badly to like Pro 400H. My father picked up a Pentax Spotmatic back when he was in the service, living in Guam. Much like myself, he experimented with a lot of different film stocks to see what he liked best and eventually he settled on Fuji’s film over Kodak. To this day, he insists that Kodak still cannot mimic the beautiful blues and greens that you get with Fuji’s film. Though he exclusively shoots digital now, I still feel a bond with him over photography and film in particular. It’s because of that that I want to like Fuji’s fim. Being that Pro 400H is their flagship film, I really want to like it. I do not like it. Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H was released in 2004. Today, Pro 400H is often compared with Kodak Portra 400, though it has not reached anywhere close to the same hype. Color I think that what I dislike most about …

Review: Kodak TMax 100

Kodak’s TMax 100 has quickly become my favorite black and white film I’ve ever shot. The slow speed of ASA 100 does prevent me from using it much of the winter here in Ohio so I started using it more in a studio environment and that’s where I’ve really fallen in love with it. Tone Being that this is a black and white film, there isn’t anything to say about color but there’s a lot to say about the tones of this film. Compared with some of its more muted tone Ilford counterparts, this film does a great job of covering more of the zone spectrum. My first experience with the film was in Banff in 2019 when I shot a few rolls of it along side a surviving roll of Acros. At the time I don’t think I truly appreciated the quality of this film. The lights are so bright and the darks are so strong – the contrast have been truly wonderful. Portraits This is where I’ve really taken a liking to this …

Superstition Mountains: New City, New Film – Ilford FP4 & Fujichrome Velvia 100

This past trip to Arizona was my third time visiting and every time I go, I grow more and more in love with the environment. Last year when we went, we visited Flagstaff but this year we split our time between Sedona and the Superstitions. Prior to heading out, I picked up several rolls of Ilford FP4 and at a camera shop in Phoenix, I picked up some Velvia 100. In Sedona I was shooting through a lot of Ektar and Provia and didn’t manage to load up the FP4 or Velvia until we rolled into the Superstitions. Admittedly, I didn’t particularly love either of these film stocks. Since the trip to AZ, I’ve shot through some 4×5 sheets of FP4 and didn’t much care for them either. That said, I’ve started developing my own B&W at home and have found that for some reason I’ve getting a lot more grain than I’m used to getting from the Darkroom so it may well be my own fault for not liking it. In general, I expect …

Review: Kodak Portra 160

To see reviews of the other films in the Portra family, go here for Portra 400 and here for Portra 800. To see a more formal comparison of Portra 160 with the other two members of the Portra family (Experiment 2), go here. In all honesty, I have a love-hate relationship with Portra 160. Every roll I’ve shot through is almost entirely full of shots I don’t much care for if not some of my least favorite I’ve ever taken. That said… The shots on a roll that I like are some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. So where do you go from here? I would really like to shoot through some rolls in a studio environment where I have much more control of the lighting. Perhaps there I will have more consistently desirable results… Color Compared with the other two films in the Portra family, it is by and large the least saturated when properly exposed. Even slightly overexposed and it gets a sort of a nasty looking warm tint to the …

Review: Kodak Portra 800

To see Portra 800 exposure tested, follow this link. As a reference for Portra 400 shot at 800, follow this link. To see a more formal comparison of Portra 800 with the other two members of the Portra family (Experiment 2), go here. I waited far too long to really give Portra 800 a fair shake. The main reason was the price – coming in at $15 more expensive for a pro pack of 120 and half again the price of a roll of 35mm, I considered more of a luxury than something I would regularly shoot. A couple months ago I caved and picked up a pro pack of both 120 and 35mm in order to write a review on it. I can honestly say that I won’t be defaulting to Portra 400 any longer. The colors of 800 are fantastic. The colors are quite punchy and given the additional speed from 400, the grain structure is minimal and pleasing. Color Much like Portra 400, this film stock is great for shooting portraits. The …

Interview: Seth Gaffar

“I think the big change I have noticed since moving to shooting film is striving to make more authentic images…” Seth’s work is incredibly interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone who has such tasteful first of the roll shots or light leaks. Much of his work is based on coastal living and captures a life that inspires. I love his work and look forward to hearing what he has to say about film photography. His instagram account can be found here. JM – Why do you shoot film? SG – I shoot film for the love of the process and the challenge. I know a lot of people talk about quality or the archival aspect but I just love the whole process of shooting film so much more than digital. I feel that with film you really focus on every shot; there is no looking at the back of a screen to take you out of the moment… JM – What is your favorite film?  Camera? SG – I think my original love …

Interview: Gabriel Maldonado

“Film is alive and no matter how much you plan, it’s going to do what its going to do.” Gabriel is an amazing portrait photographer out in Orange County, CA. His work is really unique and quite engrossing. I highly suggest you check out his instagram and website. JM – Why do you shoot film? GM – I couldn’t afford a full frame digital and I really wanted to start photography after doing video for so long. Then I asked myself why do I want to shoot digital when I’m just going to try and copy the look and feel of film in post. Well we all know you can NEVER copy the look and feel of film.  JM – What is your favorite film?  Camera? GM – Hate to sound cliché but it works and it’s never failed me. PORTRA 400. I’ve tried others and the only one that has come close to the love I have for portra is Cinestill 800t. GM – My favorite camera is my current most recent acquisition, a …

Interview: Gareth Morton

“Film feels random and organic and beautiful. I love how different films have different qualities…” Gareth Morton is a film photographer based in the U.K.. His work is quite strong and he is quite humble about it. You should check out his website and/or instagram. Recently he started The Ten Shot Project with Rick Davy in which they post ten shots with one theme from one photographer. Please check out the website and instagram. JM – Why do you shoot film? GM – This would have to be the first question, ha. It’s one of those that I find most difficult to articulate an answer for. Firstly, it would have to be the aesthetic qualities of film. The colour palette that certain films give as well as the natural grain structure, a by product of the silver in the emulsion. Film feels random and organic and beautiful. I love how different films have different qualities like more or less contrast, more or less saturation, different colour qualities and the way negative film renders from the …

Montréal: New City, New Film – Cinestill BWXX

Soon after our trip to Banff, AB (color and B&W), we went to Montréal, QC for my birthday. I shot through roll Ektar when I arrived and picked up a roll of Cinestill BWXX for myself for my birthday. Unfortunately the weather was not so favorable and you can tell. So much so that a long hike from the city center to the top of Mount Royal resulted in a beautiful view of grey fog. I shot through most of the roll in the poor weather only to see it clear up as I went through my last few shots. Nevertheless, the moody weather felt right for a cinematic film. Acros and T-Max 400 As mentioned before, I shot through some other film and I honestly liked the results from them a bit more than the Cinestill. Still though… It’s good to try out some new stuff.

Interview: Christopher Hamberger

“There is an honesty to film.  Almost all of the decisions to be made in the resulting image happen before or during the shot when you shoot film…” Chris is a talented film photographer located in Kentucky, USA. His work ranges in style and content but the quality is consistently high. Not long ago he started up the Film Community Map which if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should straight away. JM: Why do you shoot film? CH: There is an honesty to film.  Almost all of the decisions to be made in the resulting image happen before or during the shot when you shoot film; whereas in digital there is so much that goes into editing and post.  I suppose I’d describe film as akin to a documentary whereas digital is more “based-on-a-true-story,” full of dramatic exaggeration. JM: What is your favorite film?  Camera? CH: I can never pick one!  But I’ve narrowed it down to two:  Portra 160 and Cinestill 800T. Portra 160 is one of the most versatile films I’ve …